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Disappointing but playable sequel
on 8 February 2008
A lot of the reviews state that if you enjoyed the original you will enjoy this but I am not sure this is strictly true.
I loved the original and not only is the sequel very similar but the essential ingredients are still there - the sounds that put you on edge (both games relying heavily on the use of sound for scare factor), the flashing images, the transformation from man to beast. However, a few tweaks have ruined rather than enhaned the experience.
Firstly, you could play the first game without transforming from man to beast. This game forces you to turn to beast and they achieve this by regularly putting you into battle with a hoard of enemy. Rather than putting a chill down your spine this has the result of constant frustrating as you die several times before finally escaping the other end intact, just, and searching for xodium to replemish your diminished health. The game kind of gets round this by letting you save at any stage (which the original does not) but even so saving right before a large battle still does not take away the fact that survival is often luck rather than skill. And there are a lot of battles to do with anything up to 20 or even 30 enemies in one go.
The game often takes you out of horror mode and you will find yourself on the streets doing gun battle with the army or shooting down helicopters, gun battles on the docks, again with heavily armed expert marksmen. Rather than add variety this takes away the genuine scare factor that was so good about the original.
I gave up before completion. After defeating a particularly difficult boss I promptly saved the game. Then I was forced to contend with every beast I had confronted throughout the game with approximately 50 M16 shells under my belt. Not going to happen, even with beast mode.
So I was disappointed with the game, the original was a genuinely frightening and unsettling experience when played with the lights off and this is exactly what this type of game should do. This one didn't seem to know if it was survival horror or a FPS, but the combination of both didn't work for me. The fact that it was so frustratingly difficult at so many stages just made the whole experience even less enjoyable.
Have a look by all means, but for me I would rather play the original again. With the lights off, surround sound on, wearing asbestos pants.